The AMWU and CB&I Constructors have joined forces to launch a joint initiative which will see 300 Australian workers obtain apprenticeships over the next few years.
Titled Project 300, the initiative has been developed in recognition of a skills shortage in key trade occupations. With CB&I’s business being primarily in the engineering, procurement and construction sector, the company and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) have developed a blueprint that spotlights that shortage in the medium to long term.
AMWU Assistant National Secretary Glenn Thompson says the initiative by the AMWU and CB&I demonstrated a commitment to the Australian workforce that other companies should follow.
“The AMWU has vigorously pursued opportunities for Australians to obtain apprenticeships in recent years and Project 300 is a significant development for those seeking a future in the different trades positions. The objective is to recruit 300 young and mature age apprentices who will be directly employed by the company across CB&I’s Australian operations,” said Mr Thompson.
The initiative also ensures that all apprentices will be paid as per the appropriate percentage of the base trade and that all apprentices will receive the highest of quality training.
“The company has committed to employing an Apprentice Master Trainer to coordinate the initiative and provide further resources to assist in the guidance and instruction of apprentices. They will develop and implement strategies designed to recruit and retain the apprentices, and the success of the project will be judged on the number of apprentices retained throughout their apprenticeships.
CB&I currently has a total workforce of 1,400 in Australia with ongoing projects in Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales. Other major projects are being tendered for in the Northern Territory and Victoria with a projected increase in employment to 3,000 expected by the end of 2013.
The AMWU and CB&I will work together to identify candidates and will target both existing employees, for example trades assistants, and external candidates. Recruitment has already begun and approximately 31 apprentices have been employed to date. (AMWU)